Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Write What You Know (Sort Of)

That’s what all writers are encouraged to do. Everyone, even those who do not write, have heard that advice. But it can’t be taken too literally. Otherwise, there would be no hugely over-hyped and over-written vampire genre. Oh no! (Actually, I have read and liked some of those books.)
When I told my family that I was going to publish a book that I had written, they all assumed it would be a heart-warming coming-of-age story or maybe a chick-lit book.  “You should write about all our crazy relatives,” I’ve often heard and still do hear. But then I gave them all copies of Wintertide...and they started looking at me funny. I could read the unspoken thoughts behind their bewildered eyes. Who the hell is she and what really goes on in her head? Did she really write about what she knows? The answer is yes.....and no. Daniel's personality is very similar to mine. Seth is derivative of several people I’ve known. Eddie is, as well. But I took those characters to places I’ve never been. It is “what I know” about them that anchors the characters and hopefully makes them believable even though the circumstances they find themselves in are rather extraordinary.

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